The Way Ahead Weekend held at Yarnfield Conference Centre from the 3-5 July 2015 was a fantastic opportunity to meet delegates, some with an acquired brain injury and their families and carers, along with members of Headway groups and branches from all over the UK. Delegates had the opportunity of browsing the stands in the atrium before listening to speakers on a variety of topics relevant to acquired brain injury, plus a selection of different workshops throughout the day.
The event was attended by Laura Merry, Senior Associate in the Head Injury team and Emma Saville, Partner in charge of the Catastrophic Injury Team. The Lyons Davidson stand was busy throughout the day, with our ‘stress brains’ being popular with delegates. Our updated Catastrophic Injury literature was available to delegates, along with a summary of cases that the team have dealt with over the last 12 months, from catastrophic injury to more minor head injurys. The draw for the bottle of champagne at lunch was won by Ronnie Kitton, Family Liaison Manager from 3L Care.
There were fantastic speakers at the conference including Dr Trevor Powell, neuropsychologist who spoke about post-traumatic growth after brain injury.
Acquired brain injury
Rob Cromey Hawke, a former army soldier and officer who was wounded in Afghanistan spoke about life after military service with an acquired brain injury.
Professor Tony Belli spoke about tackling sport concussion. Professor Belli is a professor of trauma neurosurgery and has a research interest in traumatic brain injury, including mild and repetitive concussion in sport and also military combat. He is an expert adviser to the Football Association and the Rugby Football Union.
Dr Fiona Ashworth, clinical psychologist, spoke about her research in compassion-focused therapy and the psychological consequences following brain injury.
There was a fantastic array of workshops including tackling language difficulties following brain injury, welfare benefits and the importance of nutrition following brain injury. In the afternoon, the audience were treated to a session with Brainy Dogs, who provide invaluable support and independence to those they help. There were also displays of birds of prey and music therapy.
Delegates had two evenings of entertainment on the Friday and Saturday night and Headway UK’s AGM took place on Sunday morning to conclude the weekend.
It was a fantastic weekend. It is always a privilege and an inspiration to speak to delegates and to hear their story following head injury and also to speak to those that are passionate in supporting those that have a head injury and their family and friends.